If you don’t know who eL Seed is, it’s your artistic duty to keep reading.
EL Seed is a Frenchborn Tunisian artist who found a unique way to express his creativity through Arabic calligraphy in the form of graffiti; Calligraffiti as he calls it. He has made it his business to beautify otherwise not so beautiful walls with peaceful messages around the world. It started getting attention with his project “Lost Walls” where he and his crew found walls to paint, while travelling through Tunisia. Later he brought this project to other countries like Algeria, the US, Abu Dhabi, etc. One of his most significant and to some people controversial works is that of the 57-meter-high mural on the Jara Mosque in Gabes (Tunisia) he painted a scripture of the Qu’ran saying:
“Oh humankind, we have created you from a male and a female and made people and tribes so you may know each other.”
He created this as a reaction to clashes that ensued at an artfair between the artcommunity and Salafists that believed the artwork shown to be insulting to Islam. With the above tekst he wanted to put the emphasis on tolerence and respect.
“My goal was to bring people together, which is why I chose these words from the Quran, I like graffiti because it brings art to everyone. I like the fact of democratizing art.”
Mind you, this project was beforehand approved by the gouvernor and the imam.
“I hope it will inspire other people to do crazy projects and not to be scared.”
At the moment he is working on making sculptures of his calligraffiti; the almost end result is magnificent, what a fantastic idea!
Ps: You can visit his site here: http://www.elseed-art.com where you can also buy his book “Les Murs Perdus”